|2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II|
The unchanged Hong Kong ePrix circuit.
|Date||3 December 2017|
|Official Name||2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix|
|Location||Hong Kong Harbourfront Circuit, Hong Kong, China|
|Lap length||1.860km (1.156mi)|
|Distance||45 laps / 83.700km (52.009mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Felix Rosenqvist|
|Fastest Lap||1:04.299 on lap 28|
|Felix Rosenqvist||Edoardo Mortara||Mitch Evans|
|Winner Team||Mahindra Racing|
|2017 Hong Kong E-Prix I||2018 Marrakech E-Prix|
The 2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II, officially known as the 2017 FIA Formula E HKT Hong Kong E-Prix, was the second round of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship, staged at the Hong Kong Harbourfront Circuit in Hong Kong, China, on 3 December, 2017. Held a day after the season opening race on the same circuit, the second Hong Kong E-Prix of the season would see a bizarre race ended in an equally peculiar way, as race winner Daniel Abt was retroactively disqualified.
Qualifying had seen Felix Rosenqvist take pole position, beating FE rookie Edoardo Mortara by a quarter of a second. Race one winner Sam Bird would start the second race from thirteenth having claimed third in qualifying, while Daniel Abt and Mitch Evans completed the Super Pole shootout.
Although he had perfected qualifying, it would all go wrong for Rosenqvist at the first corner, the Swede pitching himself into a spin after the field were led off the grid under the safety car. As Rosenqvist rejoined in the middle of the pack, Mortara sprinted into an early lead before settling down to manage his energy.
The first half of the race would pass without major incident, with Mortara easily swatting away challenges from Abt as the pitstops loomed. Rosenqvist, meanwhile, was picking his way up the order, as was Sébastien Buemi whom had qualified last after a miserable morning.
The pitstops passed without issue, leaving Mortara with a two second advantage over Abt, while Evans slipped behind the charging Rosenqvist after a minor mistake. Abt then began to close onto the back of the leading Venturi, prompting Mortara to push himself, the pair exchanging fastest lap.
Two laps to go and Mortara had established himself with a three second lead, with Abt easing off to ensure he at least made the finish. Mortara, however, wanted to claim fastest lap and lead the Championship, a fateful mistake as he misjudged his braking into turn one, locked the rear axle and spun. Abt and Rosenqvist flashed past before the Italian recovered to the circuit.
Birthday boy Abt was duly left to claim a maiden victory in Formula E, his first in any major series since 2012. Rosenqvist claimed second after an excellent comeback drive, while Mortara was dejected to finish third, admitting his mistake in post-race interviews. The would also be some late race drama, as André Lotterer slammed into the barriers at the final corner, with no clear explanation as to why.
However, Abt's joy was to be short-lived, as one of his Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler cars failed post-race scrutineering. His subsequent disqualification handed Rosenqvist victory from Mortara, while Evans moved into third to claim Jaguar's first podium finish.
There was very little news overnight between the Saturday and Sunday races in Hong Kong, the only stories coming in the form of penalties applied after the race. The most significant of these would be applied to Saturday winner Sam Bird, who was slapped with a ten place grid penalty for dangerous driving in the pits. DS Virgin Racing opted not to appeal, and so the Brit would start the second race of the weekend from eleventh at best.
Into the Championship and victory, in spite of his pitstop mishap on Saturday, had ensured that Bird led the Championship after the first round, four points ahead of pole sitter Jean-Éric Vergne. Nick Heidfeld went into the second race of the weekend in third, with Nelson Piquet Jr. in fourth ahead of fastest lap setter Daniel Abt. António Félix da Costa, Edoardo Mortara, Alex Lynn, Nicolas Prost and Luca Filippi completed the earliest point scorers list.
Bird's victory combined with Lynn's promotion to eighth gave DS Virgin Racing an early lead in the Teams' Championship, the Anglo-French squad heading into the second round with 29 points. Techeetah sat second thanks to Vergne, while Mahindra Racing were relegated to third after Felix Rosenqvist was bumped out of the points. The rest of the order was then placed on single car point scorers at the season opener, leaving Dragon Racing as the only team without a point.
The full entry list for the 2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II is displayed below:
Qualifying would follow the new pattern established ahead of the 2017/18 season, with the four groups of five arranged based on Championship position getting six minutes each on circuit. All five drivers in each group would then set one race mode lap, and then one full 200kw/h qualifying lap, before the top five overall were siphoned off to take part in Super Pole. Each driver in Super Pole would then get one additional full power lap to try and grab pole position, with the rest of the field sorted based on their times from the group phase.
The pre-qualifying lottery resulted in group one being formed by the bottom five drivers in the Championship after the first round, headlined by defending Champion Lucas di Grassi. He would be joined by Neel Jani and Jérôme d'Ambrosio in their Dragons, as well as André Lotterer of Techeetah. Oliver Turvey was the final member of the quintet for NIO, with di Grassi the favourite to make it to Super Pole.
Jani was the first man to hit the circuit, although a poor warm-up lap ultimately saw the Swiss racer fall shy of the ultimate pace despite setting his fastest lap of the weekend. Fellow rookie Lotterer was next and duly went into the 1:03.000s, before Turvey went fastest with a 1:03.092. di Grassi was next but a scruffy lap saw him fall a quarter of a second shy of the Brit, while d'Ambrosio rounded out the group just ahead of teammate Jani.
Group two would see those positioned eleventh to fifteenth in the Championship head out onto the circuit, with Sébastien Buemi the standout name given his FE history. Another strong contender would be Felix Rosenqvist, whom got into Super Pole ahead of the first race of the weekend, while Mitch Evans had looked strong all weekend. Completing the group would be Maro Engel in the Venturi, and the debuting Kamui Kobayashi.
Evans headed out earliest in the group to set a time, although Rosenqvist would be the first man to set a flying lap. Indeed, an ultra-attacking lap from the Swede saw him go fastest overall with a 1:02.878, before Evans hit the top of the standings with a 1:02.577. Elsewhere, Engel and Kobayashi recorded reasonable efforts, while a huge mistake by Buemi in the middle sector, a smack on the inside wall of turn five, saw him end the group at the very back of the field.
Group three saw the bottom half of the Championship top ten head out onto the circuit, with Alex Lynn and Nicolas Prost noted for their one-lap pace. Also in action would be António Félix da Costa in the second of the Andrettis, as well as Luca Filippi in the second NIO. Completing the group would be the best placed rookie in the field in the form of Edoardo Mortara, with all five considered contenders for Super Pole as the track continued to evolve.
da Costa hit the circuit first, although he was overtaken by Prost on his warm-up lap as the pair came to start their flying laps. Unfortunately for Prost a scruffy effort saw him fall shy of Super Pole, while Lynn wrestled his car into third overall at the end of his lap. Filippi then came across the line to claim fifth overall, before being displaced by da Costa, only for everyone to be stunned by Mortara's late effort as the Swiss rookie claimed a 1:02.870 with a stunning final sector.
The top five in the Championship would then head out onto the circuit, with the entire quintet likely in the hunt for pole position. The favourite would be Saturday's pole winner Jean-Éric Vergne, although race winner Sam Bird was also expected to get through. Nick Heidfeld would hope to at least match teammate Rosenqvist's earlier time, while Daniel Abt and Nelson Piquet Jr. had reasons to be optimistic after their performance on Saturday.
Piquet would be the first of the final five to head out of the pits, although Bird would be the first to set his full power lap. Indeed, a clean effort from the Brit saw him slot into fourth at the end of his lap, between Rosenqvist and Lynn, before Abt came charging across the line to go second fastest with an excellent first sector. Piquet, Heidfeld and Vergne, meanwhile would fall well shy of expectations, with the former pair ending the session outside of the top ten.
Bird was the first man out in Super Pole having finished fifth a few minutes earlier, with the Brit fighting with the knowledge that he would be taking a ten place grid penalty. Regardless, Bird recorded a clean effort to set the pace with a 1:03.109, before Rosenqvist put in a spectacular lap to go fastest with a 1:02.836. Indeed, Rosenqvist's lap would see him slither through most of the corners on the circuit, particularly in the final sector.
Mortara then made his Super Pole debut as Rosenqvist wound himself down, with the Swiss racer putting together a very clean effort to record a 1:03.108 with a stunning final sector. Birthday boy Abt went next to try and claim his first pole start, but a strong opening sector was thrown away by a series of minor mistakes in the second and third sectors to leave him fourth. Finally it was Evans' turn to head out on track, putting in a very precise lap to claim second with a 1:02.890, only for his time to be deleted after the session for excessive power use.
The final qualifying results for the 2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II are outlined below:
|2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II Qualifying Result|
|1st||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:02.836||—||1||G2|
|3rd*||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:03.109||+0.273s||13||G4|
|4th||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:03.715||+0.879s||3||G4|
|NC†||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||—||4||G2|
|1st||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||1:02.577||—||SP||G2|
|2nd||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:02.703||+0.126s||SP||G4|
|3rd||4||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||1:02.870||+0.293s||SP||G3|
|4th||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||1:02.878||+0.301s||SP||G2|
|5th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||1:02.897||+0.320s||SP||G4|
|6th||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing||1:02.929||+0.352s||5||G3|
|7th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti Formula E||1:02.979||+0.402s||6||G3|
|9th||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||1:03.092||+0.515s||8||G1|
|10th||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||1:03.210||+0.633s||9||G3|
|11th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||1:03.276||+0.699s||10||G4|
|12th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar Racing||1:03.310||+0.733s||11||G4|
|13th||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||1:03.346||+0.769s||12||G1|
|14th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||1:03.418||+0.841s||14||G3|
|15th||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||1:03.446||+0.869s||15||G2|
|16th||27||Kamui Kobayashi||Andretti Formula E||1:03.473||+0.896s||16||G2|
|18th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||1:03.849||+1:272s||18||G1|
|19th||6||Neel Jani||Dragon Racing||1:04.612||+2.035s||19||G1|
|20th||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||1:05.346||+2.769s||20||G2|
|110% Time: 1:08.834|
- * Bird was handed a ten place grid penalty after an incident in the first race of the weekend.
- † Evans had his Super Pole lap deleted for excessive power use.
It was another dry afternoon in Hong Kong for the start of the second E-Prix of the weekend, with no issues for any of the twenty starters. There was, however, an issue with the starting gantry, a light failure meaning that the cars were not able to start from the grid. As such, the race was started under the safety car, meaning Felix Rosenqvist would have a clean run to lead the field from the start of the second lap.
Yet, when it came to the actual start, Rosenqvist would make one of the biggest mistakes of his FE career. The Swede had sprinted clear of second placed Edoardo Mortara after the safety car peeled off, but as he braked for the first corner the Mahindra moved off line and locked up the rear axle on the dust. Half the field thundered past the Swede, before a nudge by Nelson Piquet Jr. put him back into the fray in the middle of the pack.
Rosenqvist's day looked to have got worse by turn two with Luca Filippi challenging him into the second corner, although the Swede tactically placed his car on the inside to run the Italian wide. Filippi duly ran out of room and got caught a few inches from the barrier, and would therefore have to wait until the rest of the field charged past. Rosenqvist, meanwhile, would lose out to Nicolas Prost and Sam Bird on the exit of the corner having lost momentum, with the order steadily settling as the first racing lap came to a close.
Out front, it was Mortara leading from Daniel Abt and Mitch Evans, with the rest of the top seven stuck behind fourth placed Alex Lynn. Indeed, it was only another lap before Lynn's Virgin was taken by António Félix da Costa, moments before teammate Bird moved past Prost at the back of the Lynn queue. At the very back of the field, Sébastien Buemi was beginning to pick his way up the order, taking the two Dragons, while Nick Heidfeld hit trouble in the middle of the pack, briefly stopping out on circuit.
The Lynn queue was becoming the key battle ground in the field, with Jean-Éric Vergne unable to move past, while the rest tried to both attack and defend. Seventh placed Oliver Turvey was stuck behind the Frenchman, and gave Piquet Jr. a tempting opportunity to get past as the field came to lap his teammate Filippi. Yet, the season one Champion could not make his lunge into turn two stick, and only just scrambled across the circuit to block Rosenqvist's run on the exit.
The race largely became a stalemate after that moment, although Lucas di Grassi made an aggressive move on Prost into turn six to claim tenth, breaking any sense of monotony from spreading across the field. Rosenqvist, meanwhile, was becoming the star of the show by making some aggressive moves, taking advantage of Piquet's sudden disappearance from the top ten to claim eighth from Bird. His next pounce came on lap on lap seventeen, an excellently timed dive carrying the Swede past Turvey for seventh.
Out front, meanwhile, FE rookie Mortara was producing one of the drives of his career, pulling clear of Abt despite the fact he was using less of his energy store than his rival. Those two, seperated by two seconds, were almost ten seconds clear of third placed Evans as the stops loomed, with da Costa keeping the Kiwi honest in the Andretti. Lynn was still fending off Vergne and closing onto the back of Evans and da Costa, while, at the back of the healthy pack, Buemi elbowed his way past Piquet.
The pit window opened at the end of lap 22, with Neel Jani and Buemi both darting into the pits. A lap later and Mortara, whom had traded his energy reserve to increase his lead to almost four second, dived in with the majority of the field. Those to stay out for an additional lap would be da Costa, Lynn and di Grassi, although the latter would rue his decision as he came to a brief halt halfway around his extra lap.
At the end of the stop chaos it was still Mortara leading from Abt, although a combination of a minor mistake by Jaguar, and precision timing by Mahindra, saw Rosenqvist leap into third from seventh before the stops. Evans slipped to fourth, just ahead of Vergne, while Bird moved ahead of Turvey. Elsewhere, Buemi had gained a handful of spots to move up to eleventh, while a horrid stop for da Costa saw his Andretti dumped down to fifteenth, having spent almost twice the amount of time than anyone else in the pits.
The race soon developed a steady rhythm after the stops, with Mortara seeking regular updates from Venturi to keep up to date with Abt behind. The Swiss was briefly troubled by the lapped Heidfeld, believing it was the German's teammate Rosenqvist, who was, in reality, slowly closing in on the top pair. Behind the Swede, Evans was having to work hard at his energy conservation, allowing Lynn to draw closer, while Bird had caught Vergne to resume their battle from race one.
Abt was the man to begin pushing as the race entered its closing stages, chipping away into Mortara's lead by setting a couple of fastest laps. Rosenqvist was also taking time out of the leader, who lost a little more time while lapping the off pace Dragon of Jani, although it seemed as if both Abt and Rosenqvist would run out of time. Indeed, with three laps to go it seemed as if the race was run, as neither Lynn nor Bird managed to take their men.
Yet, Mortara was pushing hard, and as Abt finally activated his FanBoost the Swiss racer made his first mistake of the day, locking up the rears into turn two. Abt and Rosenqvist would sneak past before the Venturi could recover, with Mortara initially stating that he had a re-generation issue. Abt was left to cruise home for a win on his birthday, with Rosenqvist and Mortara completing the podium.
After the race, however, Abt was put under investigation, and subsequently disqualified, for a mismatched set of identification stickers on certain parts of his car. That meant that Rosenqvist claimed victory from a frustrated Mortara, who revealed on the podium that he had made a mistake while pushing for fastest lap. Evans was duly promoted to third having fended off Lynn, whom had run out of power on the run to the flag meaning he dropped to ninth.
Behind Evans came Vergne, Bird, Turvey, Maro Engel and Prost, while Abt's disqualification put Buemi into the top ten. Da Costa just missed out on a recovery point, while Piquet Jr. narrowly avoided a crashing André Lotterer, who caught himself out on the edge of the dusty final corner to slam his Techeetah into the barriers. The German emerged uninjured, and his wrecked car still crossed the line ahead of di Grassi and d'Ambrosio, the last of those on the lead lap.
The final classification of the 2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II is displayed below, with the fastest lap setter indicated in italics, and the pole sitter shown in bold:
|2017 Hong Kong E-Prix II Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mahindra Racing||45||50:05.084||1:04.299||29|
|2nd||4||Edoardo Mortara||Venturi Formula E Team||45||+7.031s||1:04.309||18|
|3rd||20||Mitch Evans||Jaguar Racing||45||+10.619s||1:04.863||15|
|5th||2||Sam Bird||DS Virgin Racing||45||+12.879s||1:04.758||10|
|6th||16||Oliver Turvey||NIO Formula E Team||45||+14.199s||1:04.727||8|
|7th||5||Maro Engel||Venturi Formula E Team||45||+15.676s||1:04.884||6|
|8th||8||Nicolas Prost||Renault e.Dams||45||+18.905s||1:04.935||4|
|9th||36||Alex Lynn||DS Virgin Racing||45||+19.025s||1:04.489||2|
|10th||9||Sébastien Buemi||Renault e.Dams||45||+22.139s||1:04.766||1|
|11th||28||António Félix da Costa||Andretti Formula E||45||+23.359s||1:04.314|
|12th||3||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Jaguar Racing||45||+27.904s||1:04.088|
|14th||1||Lucas di Grassi||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||45||+39.137s||1:03.928|
|15th||7||Jérôme d'Ambrosio||Dragon Racing||45||+55.189s||1:05.290|
|DSQ*||66||Daniel Abt||Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler||45||Disqualified||1:04.501|
|16th||23||Nick Heidfeld||Mahindra Racing||44||+1 Lap||1:04.198|
|17th||27||Kamui Kobayashi||Andretti Formula E||44||+1 Lap||1:04.099|
|18th||6||Neel Jani||Dragon Racing||44||+1 Lap||1:05.655|
|Ret||68||Luca Filippi||NIO Formula E Team||36||Electrical||1:04.409|
- * Abt was disqualified from the result after one of his cars failed post-race scrutineering.
- Fourth Hong Kong E-Prix to be staged.
- Second career victory for Felix Rosenqvist.
- It was also the Swede's fifth podium visit in Formula E.
- Mahindra Racing claimed their second victory as an entrant and manufacturer.
- Edoardo Mortara earned his first podium finish.
- Maiden podium finish for Mitch Evans.
- Evans also claimed Jaguar's first podium spot as both an entrant and manufacturer.
The post-race fiasco surrounding Daniel Abt meant that Sam Bird would head to Marrakech in the lead of the Formula E Championship, two points ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne. Felix Rosenqvist's inherited victory, combined with fastest lap and pole, left him in third, while Edoardo Mortara was fourth after his debut. Fifteen drivers had registered points at the opening round, with defending Champion Lucas di Grassi among the quintet yet to score.
Mahindra Racing moved ahead of DS Virgin Racing in the Teams' Championship, once again thanking Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler for dropping the technical ball. The German outfit found themselves down in sixth, behind Techeetah, Venturi and Jaguar Racing, but ahead of three time Champions Renault e.Dams. The French squad endured their worst FE weekend ever to find themselves down in ninth, only ahead of Dragon Racing who had remained pointless.
Only point scoring drivers are shown.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 'More compact Season 4 calendar revealed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 19/06/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/june/more-compact-season-4-calendar-revealed/, (Accessed 19/06/2017)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Scott Mitchell, 'Abt stripped of maiden Formula E win', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/12/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/abt-stripped-maiden-fe-win-hong-kong-985435/, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 'Rosenqvist scoops Julius Baer Pole Position for Round 2', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/rosenqvist-scoops-julius-baer-pole-position-for-round-2/, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 'Many happy returns: Abt sails to victory in Hong Kong harbour', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/december/many-happy-returns-abt-sails-to-victory-in-hong-kong-harbour/, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Chris Stevens, 'Bird, Engel, Rosenqvist handed post-race penalties', formulaspy.com, (FormulaSpy, 02/12/2017), https://formulaspy.com/formula-e/bird-engel-rosenqvist-handed-post-race-penalties-51929, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- ↑ 'FANBOOST opens for 2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/11/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/november/fanboost-opens-for-2017-hkt-hong-kong-e-prix/, (Accessed 28/11/2017)
- ↑ 'Season 4: official team & driver entry list confirmed', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/11/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/season-4-official-team-driver-entry-list-confirmed/, (Accessed 03/11/2017)
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 ABB Formula E, 'Formula E Hong Kong Qualifying - Sunday - HKT Hong Kong E-Prix 2017', youtube.com, (YouTube: ABB Formula E, 03/12/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4-e3eFdY_k, (Accessed 21/07/2018)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 'HONG KONG, HK - E-PRIX RACE RESULTS', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 03/12/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/results/race-results/season/2022017/round/2, (Accessed 03/12/2017)
- ↑ 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25 10.26 10.27 10.28 10.29 10.30 10.31 10.32 10.33 10.34 10.35 '2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix (Round 2) Extended Highlights - Formula E', youtube.com, (YouTube: FIA Formula E Championship, 10/12/2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1Q3i1iBgaY, (Accessed 18/12/2017)